Top HR trends for 2022

A new report distills the benefits, policies and tactics that will shape the year ahead.

By Robby Brumberg      
Top HR trends for 2022

2021, much like 2020, was rocked by almost constant uncertainty and rapid workplace shifts.

That momentum, fueled by the ongoing pandemic and “Great Resignation,” shows no signs of stopping in the new year. And the onus is on employers to keep up with rising employee expectations — and demands.

A new report from Evive, which reveals the top human resources (HR) trends that will shape the employee experience in 2022, can help companies ensure their offerings align with what employees say they want. The data highlights eight big trends companies should prioritize.

1. Ending the ‘Great Resignation.’

But how, exactly? Evive says reversing the tide from resignations to retention starts with better communication — and listening. It writes:

“Employers that listen and use the input to develop a culture aligned with people’s values and beliefs, create a future-ready organization where employees feel cared for and supported, and therefore don’t want to leave.”

2. Developing an employee-first culture.

Aside from giving employees the flexibility they crave, 2022 should be the year of inclusion and meaningful shifts toward greater equity. As Evive puts it:

By balancing culture, structure and strategy, listening to how others feel and respecting team members’ unique needs and perspectives, organizations will recruit great talent, achieve greater innovation, gain a distinct advantage over the competition and show people come first.” 

3. Benefits for a multigenerational and diverse workforce.

Catering to four generations in one workplace is no easy task, but some benefits are universally adored. Take, for instance, the four-day workweek, which ranked as the No. 1 benefit for all four age groups surveyed by Evive. The data shows the rest of the top perks:

  • Baby boomers: Four-day workweek, identity theft protection, flexible hours, financial planning and fitness perks.
  • Gen X: Four-day workweek, flexible hours, fitness perks, student loan assistance and financial planning 
  • Millennials: Four-day workweek, flexible hours, fitness perks, student loan assistance and tuition reimbursement
  • Gen Z: Four-day workweek, student loan assistance, financial planning and Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

4. Improving well-being and mental health.

Evive notes that traditional health care plans don’t always cover mental health care. That’s going to change in 2022 — or at least it should. The report says:

“Today, employees require more emotional well-being support, whether it’s providing resources to help employees balance today’s demands as a caregiver, helping a same-sex couple with adoption or providing support groups or telehealth therapy. In 2022, employers will dedicate the time and resources to expand employee mental health and well-being benefits to attract and retain employees and to foster the needs of a diverse, multigenerational team.”

5. Enhancing financial wellness.

Finances are consistently rated as employees’ top stressor, and the pandemic has caused even more of a crunch. Yet, “not only did employees report that financial planning benefits as one of the least offered benefits (15%), but the MetLife Annual Benefit Trends showed 82% of employees want a financial wellness benefit option and 38% see it as a necessity.”

In 2022, companies should get creative to help alleviate these serious financial burdens, including teaching employees, “how to manage short-term finances, unexpected expenses and long-term financial goals, as well as offering courses on homeownership, retirement account growth, debt reduction and more.” 

6. Creating a unified, seamless experience.

Evive sums up the obstacles created by the limitations of remote and/or hybrid workplaces:

“Many employers today have a disconnected ecosystem of HR software, systems and point solutions. Still, with employee communications, onboarding/offboarding, benefits information, career development resources and employee engagement all critical to organizational success, employers must provide a personalized communications platform with information all in one place. Engaging and listening to employees demands a level of personalization throughout the employee experience that builds trust, encourages open communication and boosts productivity.” 

7. Monetizing data to increase employee engagement.

How will your company improve employee engagement in 2022? It’s a question that ties directly to productivity, morale and your bottom line, so it’s well worth considering how you can improve. Evive writes:

“Employers that leverage data in 2022 to further personalize and improve employee messaging, proactively monitor and recommend resources that drive a better employee experience and understand the benefits an employee engages (or doesn’t engage) with, will help create a seamless, consistent experience through all communication channels, build brand loyalty and drive ROI.”

8. Eliminating mass email.

Farewell, all-staff emails. In 2022, companies should invest in targeted, segmented and relevant messaging. (That goes for external and internal comms.) Evive explains what’s at stake:

“Mass emails are often seen as employer spam, and if the information isn’t relevant or of interest, employees are most likely to delete or ignore it. As a result, this kills morale, wastes people’s time and leads to disinterest.”

Over to you, readers. What HR trends are you prioritizing as we head into 2022?